NORTH CANTON The North Canton City Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Thursday to approve a resolution of necessity to put an additional property tax levy on the May 8 ballot.
The board will send the request to the Stark County Auditor's Office to certify the total current tax valuation of the school district and the dollar amount of revenue generated by the additional levy.
Superintendent Jeff Wendorf said the district is requesting a 6.9 mill levy for operating expenses. The request is a result of findings of an Independent Financial Advisory Committee recently formed to provide the district with input after the defeat of Issue 44, a combination earned income tax and property tax that was placed on the ballot last November.
The committee came up with the following recommendations: The district should place a property tax for under 7 mills on a future ballot. The committee also recommended postponing the facilities project.
Wendorf said, “The levy is critical to our community and critical to the district.”
The district cut $300,000 from its building budgets and expenditures for the 2017-18 school year. In addition to those cuts, the district is planning on $1 million in cuts for the 2018-19 school year. If the proposed levy doesn’t pass, the district will have to make $2 million in reductions.
Wendorf said at a previous meeting, the district will look at four areas for reductions including athletics, where the implementation of pay-to-participate and reducing travel costs will be considered. The board also will consider cuts in transportation and end busing for grades nine through 12 and extending the nonbusing zone for grades kindergarten through five. They also will look at using cluster stops versus curb stops.
The district will have to evaluate and review every program to determine where reductions can be made. Lastly, a reduction in staff will be considered. Wendorf said the district will try to reduce staff through attrition as opposed to layoffs. The district already has identified about $275,000 in staffing cuts for the 2018-19 school year and Wendorf indicated classroom personnel likely will not be part of those cuts.
“This is a two-step process. Tonight, we approved sending the request to the Stark County auditor to certify the amount. Then, at the Jan. 18 regular board meeting, we vote on whether to put it on the May ballot,” Wendorf said.
He added, “We need to make future reductions even if the levy passes because we won’t start collecting on the levy until 2019. We’ll continue to provide the best education we can with the resources we have.”
Other actions approved before the special meeting included:
The board held its annual organizational meeting where Jordan Greenwald was elected and sworn in as board president and Susie VanVranken was elected and sworn in as vice president.
Swore in three new board members including Robert Roden, Jessica Stroia and Andrea Ziarko.
Approved holding the monthly regular meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m.
Approved changing the regular January meeting to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 versus the regular Wednesday date.
UP NEXT: Meets 6:00 p.m. Jan. 18 in the media room at Hoover High School.